Padua, City of Wine

A glass of wine as a social aperitif.

What to drink
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Many visitors to the city notice it right away: when two friends meet up for an evening or lunchtime drink, there is no way that each just pays for what they have drunk. One pays for one round, the other for the second. And it is almost impossible to leave the score at 1-1. This pleasant social convention in part benefits from the family atmosphere of so many places where people gather for a drink (the Piazze, beneath the Salone, etc).

The social value of drinking together is impervious to economic crises, and is reflected in the increasing number – and quality – of the vines and spirits produced in the area: Merlot, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon, the various Fior d’Arancio, the Muscat of Vignalta (among the best in the world). Such vineyards as Montecchia del Conte Giordano Emo Capodilista and Ca’ Lustra di Zanovello are just a pair of the names at the top of a very long list.

As for the distilled products, Luxardo is famous throughout the world for its Maraschino and its Sangue Morlacco; and the legendary aperitif Aperol was first presented to the world by the brothers Barbieri at the Padua Trade Fair of 1919. Nor should one forget the egg-based Vov Pezziol.

As for grappas, they are now acquiring international recognition. The Bonollo ‘Of’, for example, is produced at Mestrino – a cask-aged Amarone grappa that takes the very concept of ‘luxury’ one step further.

The days when a waiter simply asked “Red or White?” are long gone. Now the Wine List is a ‘must’ for clients who want the right wine to accompany what they are eating, be it roast meats or grilled fish. Who would argue with that Frenchman who claimed that “the stomach is the way to happiness”?

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